Blue Jays Work the Bugs Out

From Associated Press

Kelvim Escobar didn’t let the bugs bother him.

The Toronto Blue Jays shut out a bug infestation and shut down the Baltimore Orioles, winning, 10-1, Friday night behind Escobar’s pitching and Carlos Delgado’s 30th home run.

“It was tough. There were a lot of bugs out there, but you have to continue,” Escobar said. “I felt something in my mouth, but I didn’t want to think it was a bug.”

In the third inning, thousands of bugs called aphids descended on SkyDome. While there was no delay, the swarm caused plate umpire Tim Welke to ask for the roof to be closed. Toronto’s Jeff Frye wore a dust mask in the dugout, and many fans left.


“All the players were miserable,” Toronto Manager Buck Martinez said. “It was in their eyes and mouth. It was a very uncomfortable situation.”

Escobar (3-5), making his second start of the season, allowed just one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.

“I don’t know if you’d call it an act of God, but it was tough out there,” Toronto catcher Darrin Fletcher said. “When SkyDome was open it was like a wave. When you ran, you got a face full of bugs.”

Blue Jay reliever Dan Plesac was with Milwaukee when there was a 35-minute bug-related delay at SkyDome on Aug. 27, 1990.


“The one in ’90 was worse because they were a lot bigger,” Plesac said.

Baltimore’s Kris Foster was particularly disturbed by the aphids, who have a green body with oversized white wings.

“I couldn’t take a deep breath on the mound because I’d suck in dinner,” said Foster, who made his major league debut when he pitched the eighth.